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Braves select RHP Hurston Waldrep with the 24th overall pick in 2023 MLB Draft

The Braves dip into the college ranks once again to take a first round pitcher.

2023 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images

With the 24th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, the Atlanta Braves selected Right-Handed Pitcher Hurston Waldrep out of the University of Florida. The Braves were heavily projected to take a prep bat in the first round but they elected to select a college arm instead. Waldrep was a surprise to drop all the way to 24 and the Braves seen keen on adding his talent to the system.


DOB: 03/01/2002

Height: 6’1”

Bats/Throws: R/R


Baseball America: #18

MLB Pipeline: #19

ESPN: #14

Introducing Hurston Waldrep

The Atlanta Braves are often looking for the highest ceiling talent available, and when Florida Gators right handed pitcher Hurston Waldrep fell to them at 24 they changed course and took the gamble. Waldrep struggled against LSU in the College Baseball World Series throwing 2 13 innings allowing three earned runs and striking out just two batters, but the talent is apparent when watching him pitch. His best offering is a split change that forced a whiff rate of 63.4 percent last season. In addition to that plus plus pitch, he also throws a four-seam fastball that sits around 95 MPH, but it can reach as high as 99 MPH. His third pitch is a slider that can also miss bats at a high rate and can be a plus pitch down the road. His final pitch is a 12-6 curveball that could also project as average or better. His command does need some overall refinement as highlighted by the fact he walked 57 batters in 101 23 innings for Florida in 2023. His delivery does have a bit of a funky arm angle and some violence which might make it a little difficult to repeat on a consistent basis but if he is able to improve with his control, he can be a more than solid starter in the major leagues. His raw stuff could also land him as a high end bullpen arm should his command not take the necessary steps forward.

First Reaction

This is a pretty deep slide down the board for Hurston Waldrep, who was projected as high as a top 15 pick. There is a lot of risk surrounding him, but the Braves have shown confidence in their ability to develop pitchers especially those with fringy command. The Braves don’t often go full slot in the first round, but this is likely going to take a good chunk of money to sign him. While this limits the Braves a bit more in future rounds, it is the best pitching prospect currently available despite his flaws. The Braves have a lot of depth in the lower levels of the system in terms of pitching and Waldrep adds another layer to that. A player with a quartet of potential above average to plus pitches is rare to fall this deep, though the command issues and delivery issues Waldrep have will certainly test Atlanta’s development staff

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